Pac-12 realignment, expansion speculation: ACC or Mountain West merger for conference?

Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff appears to have his work cut out for him in trying to keep the conference together.
Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff appears to have his work cut out for him in trying to keep the conference together.

Pac-12 Conference expansion and realignment speculation continues to swirl and the chatter seems to be intensifying.

The latest talk includes a lot of talk about potential mergers with other conferences, news of a potential new media rights partner and conversations about potential new Pac-12 member schools in expansion.

Catch up on some of the latest rumors surrounding the future of the Pac-12 Conference.

More:Big Ten expansion, realignment speculation surrounds Pac-12 Conference

Forbes: Pac-12 needs to start ACC merger talks

Jim Williams wrote: "There remains an open channel between the ACC and The Pac-12 about ways they can work together in the future. Merger talks are not a dream or a media hyped story there is clearly room for some serious conversations. The two coastal conferences are a far better fit than joining the Big 12. The name floated by the North Carolina president rebranding of the two leagues as the Atlantic-Pacific Athletic Conference makes sense on both an academic and athletic level."

Big 12 realignment, expansion:Pac-12 school additions would alter look of conference

Sports Illustrated: How would a Pac-12, Mountain West merger look?

Kevin Borba wrote: "There appears to be a couple realistic routes that the Pac-12, who is at the center of all of the expansion talks, can actually take. For starters, and this is what most people like ESPN's Paul Finebaum believe the conference will do; expand. Programs such as San Diego State, SMU, Tulane, and UNLV are there for the taking in promising markets and while they don't replace what the conference lost in USC and UCLA they are adequate replacements."

CBS Sports: Pac-12, Mountain West merger could emerge in college expansion

Dennis Dodd wrote: "Out of that upheaval emerges a conference of leftovers. Think of a Pac-12 -- or whatever it is called by then -- attempting to forge ahead with its four remaining schools (Cal, Oregon State, Stanford, Washington State) while filling the rest of the conference with Mountain West programs. (It could also go the other direction.) San Diego State and SMU are already projected as expansion candidates if the Pac-12 survives, so pencil them in to make it six teams in the hybrid league."

Pac-12 expansion prediction: San Diego State, SMU, Mountain West makeover for conference

Write for California: ACC, Pac-12 need to revisit conference merger talks

Avinash Kunnath wrote: "It’s likely the Pac-12 can no longer go it alone with USC and UCLA soon to be gone. It will not attract major TV revenue aside from a few major contests, and that payout will not be able to satisfy major members of the conference. If no satisfactory TV deal emerges, an alliance or merge with the ACC makes the most sense for both sides. If you’re a Cal fan, and the Big Ten door is shut for now, and the Pac-12 TV deal falls short of expectations, an ACC partnership would help the Bears the most."

Ducks Wire: Pac-12 teams could create new conference with Mountain West teams

Zachary Neel wrote: "It’s a little hard to project where Cal is going to end up. Dennis Dodd reports that the Big Ten no longer has an interest, and the Big 12 may not want to take them on either. There’s a good chance that after the Big Ten and Big 12 raid the conference, there are a few schools left standing, and they end up merging with the Mountain West — Boise State, Fresno State, UNLV, SDSU, etc. — and creating a new conference."

Big 12 expansion prediction: 4 Pac-12 teams to join conference

CBS Sports: How much of Pac-12's media right deal will be streaming?

Dennis Dodd wrote: "It is believed that significantly more than 50% of Pac-12 games will be on a streaming service, as CBS Sports has previously reported. That would be unprecedented for a major conference. It as previously thought ESPN would pick up Pac-12 games for the fourth (late) television window with Amazon potentially acquiring the rest. Suddenly, Apple+ is a possibility for the Pac-12 in what could be an all-streaming deal, the New York Post reported Tuesday."

New York Post: Apple TV+ potential landing spot for Pac-12 football

Andrew Marchand wrote: "With ESPN, Amazon Prime Video and Fox Sports lukewarm on the league, Apple could end up being the platform for the Pac-12, according to sources. Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff could present Apple as a possibility to his schools soon, according to sources. Whether the universities would be interested in a potential all-streaming deal and whether the terms would end up being good enough to prevent schools from departing to other conferences has yet to be determined."

ESPN: Amazon could be key to Pac-12 realignment

Pete Thamel wrote: "Amazon has long been linked to the Pac-12 as one of its suitors. And its interest level has been viewed as a potential lifeline for the league amid a marketplace without many attractive open broadcast windows remaining. But it also could have the opposite impact if Amazon's dollars are redirected...Amazon could have outsized influence by putting its money elsewhere -- the Big Ten and Big 12 via a sublicense -- to help subsidize potential realignment moves."

CBS Sports: What is the Pac-12 actually worth?

Dennis Dodd wrote: "Indeed, only an educated guess: The Pac-12 will get a deal that pays its schools $25 million annually. The current 12-year Pac-12 deal that expires next year averages $20.8 million. The length of the active deal made former commissioner Larry Scott an easy target as the league got lapped by other conferences. A $25 million would lag approximately $50 million annually behind the Big Ten. As such, concerns would be raised about whether such a figure would be enough to keep Pac-12 schools from bolting for potential opportunities in the Big Ten and Big 12."

ESPN: Pac-12 is at a 'tipping point' as a conference

Paul Finebaum said: “I think it’s at a tipping point, Cole, and it’s all about your media rights deals. “[George] Kliavkoff has been dealt a bad blow and I think some of it’s his fault, most of it’s not. Most of it was created by ten years of negativity, which led to them losing their biggest brand last summer in Southern Cal. … “So, there’s not a lot of attractibility to this league, and I think some of it’s obvious. If you’re televising the Pac-12, it’s usually not in a good time slot because of the difference in the time zones, and I just don’t think they have a lot to offer, either, even if they expand, which, obviously, they’re probably going to, it may help on a local to regional level but it doesn’t help their national brand very much. And I think that’s their biggest problem.”

Big Ten expansion prediction:2 more Pac-12 teams to join conference

Sports Illustrated: Amazon could spell end to Pac-12 Conference

Casey Lundquist wrote: "If Amazon decides to redeploy its dollars and fund realignment, it could be the straw that breaks the camel's back. Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark has delivered on every promise he has made during his brief tenure. If Yormark is able to expand West, he will have fulfilled his three primary goals. The proverbial Pac-12 ship continues to take on water. The longer the Pac-12 goes without a media deal, the more unstable the conference will become, especially as national outlets continue to write about the sad state of affairs in the Pac-12. The Big 12 has its future secured through 2030, and that could be enough to lure schools away from the Pac-12."

San Jose Mercury News: Does Gonzaga make sense for Pac-12?

Jon Wilner wrote: "We cannot ignore the elephant in the region: Should the university presidents offer membership to Gonzaga? The Bulldogs are the best basketball program in the Pac-12 footprint that isn’t in the Pac-12. They are the only program remotely capable of filling the void left behind when UCLA leaves for the Big Ten in the summer of 2024. They are the only program that could stand as a second tentpole, alongside Arizona, in a reconfigured conference. It’s an intriguing idea, one worthy of consideration for Pac-12 as it sorts through the membership options and awaits a media rights contract."

More:Big 12 expansion, realignment speculation includes Pac-12 schools Arizona State, Arizona

Mountain West Wire: SMU, San Diego State closer to joining Pac-12

Ted McGovern wrote: "SMU and San Diego State are the clear candidates having moved far beyond the initial group of universities under consideration, and at least San Diego State stands out as the most strategically advantageous candidate.  It’s highly probable that neither entrant would receive full revenue shares, at least initially, according to sources, and in accordance with tradition.  It is undisputed that each candidate has a lot to offer in its own right."

Ducks Wire: Oregon, Washington to Big Ten picking up steam

Zachary Neel wrote: "There are still a lot of dominos to fall in this entire saga, obviously, but for those Oregon fans wondering what happened to all of the Big Ten buzz that was taking place less than a year ago, just be patient. In the coming months, we will likely get an answer on the Pac-12’s new media deal. How it’s received among the 10 remaining members could have huge ramifications, and might potentially lead to the death of the conference as we know it."

Previous Pac-12 speculation:Media rights situation bleak for conference?

Outkick: Can San Diego State help the Pac-12 survive?

David Hookstead wrote: "The Pac-12 has taken a hard look at expanding in order to survive, and SDSU was always right at the top of the list. If the Aztecs do join, which seems likely at this point, will it move the needle much? The honest answer is probably not. It’s neat for San Diego State and the program’s fans, but no network is going to race to write a check because SDSU joined the Pac-12."

Fansided: Pac-12 replacements for USC and UCLA are depressing

John Buhler wrote: "So to prevent those four schools in question from leaving, as well as flagships like Oregon and Washington, it makes sense financially to pursue schools in major metro areas like San Diego and Dallas-Fort Worth. From a competitive standpoint, the Aztecs and the Mustangs have what it takes to make the leap up to Power Five. Also, let’s keep in mind how wealthy SMU alumni base is."

More:Pac-12 has been 'fractured' by Big Ten, Big 12 conference realignment, expansion chatter

Write for California: Everything fits for San Diego State in Pac-12

Avinash Kunnath wrote: Everything fits for the Aztecs. With no UCLA and USC, the Pac-12 have no footprint in Southern California, an absolutely vital market for TV rights negotiations. San Diego is not Los Angeles, but it provides some presence in the region that cobbles together enough of a presence in the west. The Aztecs regularly field competitive basketball and football teams. Additionally, the Aztecs are closing in on R1 institution status, fitting the conference partner ideal academic profile."

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Pac-12 Conference expansion speculation: ACC or Mountain West merger?